Created by susan on 2019-04-06 22:50:16
As spring and summer approaches, many of us find what has been dubbed as “swimsuit season” anxiety provoking. Whether the anxiety is self-imposed or the perceived societal pressure of how you “should” look in a swimsuit, the anxiety is very real for women. This year I challenge you to not see it as a season filled with body expectation, but as an opportunity to step into your own kind of beautiful. In lieu of conforming to whatever the pressure is to ”look” a certain way in your swimsuit, be cognizant of your feelings about your body so you improve how you feel year round. Your body esteem factors in your cognitions and emotions in relation to your body image, whether naked or fully clothed, while wearing some stunning off the shoulder evening wear, or in your yoga pants with your hair pulled back and headed out to the gym. I use a Body Esteem Quotient (BEQ) to help you tune in to how you really feel about how you look which is made up of four quotients:
Nutrition quotient (NQ): Meal therapy is often used in our clinics to teach the art of mindful eating, how to overcome your thoughts about forbidden foods, and to experiment with food so that eating is an adventure. This summer, break all of the food rules you have lived by in the past and shift the focus to nourishing your body. Enjoy a variety of fruits and vegetables and expand your food repertoire with new recipes and cuisine (i.e., add mesquite or hickory to your grill for a smoky flavor that not only tingles your taste buds, but satisfies your cravings). Body Esteem means always eating in a mindful, balanced way – aware of when and what you eat without obsessing about it or feeling any guilt.
Exercise quotient (EQ): Research shows that exercise improves not only your mental health (i.e., decreases depression, anxiety and stress), but your body image. Mix it up and make it fun, but definitely engage your body in movement. Multi-task by simultaneously engaging your cognitions with exercise such as learning a new language while you go for a walk or run on the beach to improve your brain health and physical fitness.
Psychological Quotient (PQ): A vital part of a healthy outlook about how you look and feel about your body is to STOP comparing your body, exercise, and nutrition intake to others. Be confident in your own choices and limit what you expose yourself to on social media. Catch yourself when you start comparing anything about your body or your life to others. Taking inspiration from others is not comparing yourself to others.
Fashion Quotient (FQ): Fashion helps you craft your look and can boost your body esteem while providing some fun creating a new look. Approach shopping for a swimsuit with a positive mental attitude and be optimistic that you will find a swimsuit you love and that you feel fantastic in. If you go in with this attitude instead of saying “I think this one might look okay if I can lose 15 pounds before we go to the beach”, then you can find your next swimsuit that shows off the things you love most about your body. This year as you think about the upcoming summer season, check out my next blog on “How to Make a Splash this Summer” and no longer view “swimsuit season” as an actual season!